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The Chevy Malibu Eco’s MPG Rating: Is it High Enough?

Chevrolet took a gamble by rolling out the fuel economy focused 2013 Malibu Eco before the other Malibu models. In the eyes of some in the media horde, it was bad bet. All it took was a biased piece by an old-school automotive journalist – a long-time employee of a bastion of conventional media – to set the lemming fish marching. With post quotas to fill, they quickly piled on, throwing numbers into the fray. As if that would turn a subjective editorial into fact.

To this I say, how many hours did you spend in both the 2013 Malibu Eco and its predecessor, the Malibu Hybrid? I spent plenty in both cars, along with the 2010 Malibu LT. And I spent plenty of my own hard-earned cash on the gasoline for our extensive road tests. No expense accounts here.


It would have been marvelous if the old Malibu Hybrid delivered gas mileage results as large as the stickers that adorned our test car. But it didn’t. “Paint and tape,” we called it back in the days of posers that pretended to be muscle cars. The same could be said of the old Malibu Hybrid.

The official mileage estimates for the 2008 Malibu Hybrid are 24 miles per gallon (MPG) city and 32 MPG highway. We surpassed the official numbers numbers in our week-long test, with 36.5 MPG highway and 28.4 MPG combined.

We did a bit better in our week with the 2013 Malibu Eco, with regard to fuel economy. In over 400 miles of testing, we squeaked by the official estimates scoring an average of 40.5 MPG on the Interstate highway and 31.8 MPG combined. (The official fuel economy numbers are 25/37.) That seems like a slight improvement, until you consider the following …

Our 0-60 MPH acceleration test time dropped from 11.5 seconds in the 2008 Malibu Hybrid to 8.2 seconds in the Malibu Eco. That’s a difference of 3.3 seconds.

We’re not talking about splitting tenths here, kids.

Gas mileage matters here at MPGomatic, first and foremost. Not hype. Not controversy. Not profits. But the improvement in performance between the Malibu Hybrid and the Malibu Eco prove that it’s possible to burn more rubber and less gasoline.

Lets call that old-schooler’s article for what it was: link bait. The foolish fish took it: hook, line, and sinker.

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 mark whitton on 08.07.12 at 8:22 am

I own the close cousin of the Malibu Eco, the Buick Regal Eassist. I have about 2700 miles on the car and am tracking my fuel mileage. Currently, I am at 26 mpg in mixed urban-suburban-highway driving with air conditioning on (eco mode). The car itself is nice, very quiet, great infotainment (nav, onstar, radio..).

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